Dame Judi Dench reveals she was named by a famous 1930s MEDIUM

 Dame Judi Dench has revealed she was named by a famous 1930s medium.   

The actress, 86, explained her parents Eleanora and Reginald hadn’t chosen a moniker for her immediately after she was born – but a chance meeting with a woman who claimed to communicate with spirits led to them calling her Judith.  

Speaking ahead of the release of her new spiritual drama, Blithe Spirit, in which she plays eccentric medium Madame Arcati, she said: ‘A very strange thing happened at the time that I was born. 

Icon: Dame Judi Dench has revealed she was named by a famous 1930s medium

Icon: Dame Judi Dench has revealed she was named by a famous 1930s medium

Icon: Dame Judi Dench has revealed she was named by a famous 1930s medium

‘My father was a doctor, my mother was from Dublin, and they lived in York.

‘There was a famous medium. My father met her a day after I was born. She said to him, “I’m very pleased to hear about Judith”.’

‘My parents had no idea what I would be called and so I was called Judith which – fortunately – now I’m never called.’

And the Oscar winner admitted she believes in the spirit world because of various experiences she’s had.

She added: ‘There was great belief in the 1930s in mediums. They toured and people went to the shows. I think it’s difficult for us to say that there is nothing. 

Judith Dench: The actress, 86, explained her parents Eleanora and Reginald hadn't chosen a moniker for her immediately after she was born - but a chance meeting with a woman who claimed to communicate with spirits led to them calling her Judith (pictured 1957)

Judith Dench: The actress, 86, explained her parents Eleanora and Reginald hadn't chosen a moniker for her immediately after she was born - but a chance meeting with a woman who claimed to communicate with spirits led to them calling her Judith (pictured 1957)

Judith Dench: The actress, 86, explained her parents Eleanora and Reginald hadn’t chosen a moniker for her immediately after she was born – but a chance meeting with a woman who claimed to communicate with spirits led to them calling her Judith (pictured 1957)

‘There is a huge world that we don’t know about. I implicitly believe that, because all sorts of things have happened to me.’

The Skyfall star joked she’d love to ‘haunt’ people and the places she loved after she dies.

In an interview recorded with the Blithe Spirit filmmakers, she said: ‘I don’t know who I’d haunt. I might haunt places. I might drift a lot around in Scotland because I love it so much.’

Blithe Spirit is an adaptation of Noel Coward’s play of the same name – Judi plaus a medium who holds a seance for a writer but accidentally summons the spirit of his dead first wife, which leads to an love triangle with his current wife. 

Chance encounter: Speaking ahead of the release of her new spiritual drama, Blithe Spirit, in which she plays eccentric medium Madame Arcati, she told of how a medium told her father 'I'm very pleased to hear about Judith' (above with Leslie Mann, Isla Fisher and Dan Stevens)

Chance encounter: Speaking ahead of the release of her new spiritual drama, Blithe Spirit, in which she plays eccentric medium Madame Arcati, she told of how a medium told her father 'I'm very pleased to hear about Judith' (above with Leslie Mann, Isla Fisher and Dan Stevens)

Chance encounter: Speaking ahead of the release of her new spiritual drama, Blithe Spirit, in which she plays eccentric medium Madame Arcati, she told of how a medium told her father ‘I’m very pleased to hear about Judith’ (above with Leslie Mann, Isla Fisher and Dan Stevens)

Judi recalled how excited she was to meet the legendary writer early in her career after being introduced by her actor friends Joe Mitchenson and Raymond Mander.

She said: ‘As a young actress, they took me to see everything in London when I wasn’t playing at the Old Vic. One night we saw, at the Savoy theatre, an adaptation of a Coward play.

‘Afterwards, they said we’re going round to see somebody… ‘Here’s Noël’. He shook hands with me. I will never forget the smell of his aftershave. I don’t think I washed for days. It was just magical.’  

Spiritual: And the Oscar winner admitted she believes in the spirit world because of various experiences she's had (pictured 1957)

Spiritual: And the Oscar winner admitted she believes in the spirit world because of various experiences she's had (pictured 1957)

Spiritual: And the Oscar winner admitted she believes in the spirit world because of various experiences she’s had (pictured 1957)

Dame Judi made her first professional stage performance in 1957 and her film debut was in 1964 for The Third Secret.

She has since appeared in the James Bond films, Philomena and Shakespeare in Love – to name a few, with her latter role winning her an Academy Award in 1998.  

Judi is one of the most famous actresses in history and has won one Academy Award, a Tony, four television BAFTA Awards, six film, and seven Laurence Olivier Awards. 

National treasure: Judi is one of the most famous actresses in history and has won one Academy Award, a Tony, four television BAFTA Awards, six film, and seven Laurence Olivier Awards (above in 2012's Skyfall with Daniel Craig as James Bond)

National treasure: Judi is one of the most famous actresses in history and has won one Academy Award, a Tony, four television BAFTA Awards, six film, and seven Laurence Olivier Awards (above in 2012's Skyfall with Daniel Craig as James Bond)

National treasure: Judi is one of the most famous actresses in history and has won one Academy Award, a Tony, four television BAFTA Awards, six film, and seven Laurence Olivier Awards (above in 2012’s Skyfall with Daniel Craig as James Bond)

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